Yet more solid starting pitching for three of the four affiliates as that theme continues, but the affiliates split the day. Probably the best news: Erik Johnson was partying like it was 2013…
Journeyman offseason pickup Shawn Haviland posted a very solid start (5 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 6:0 GO:FO), but it was his follow-on partner in the tandem arrangement who makes the news. In his return to action, Erik Johnson looked like the pre-2014 edition. The right-hander pitched three innings of shutout baseball allowing 3 hits and no walks while striking out three, but even better were reports (from Seth Lakso of the Charlotte Observer) of a fastball that sat 92-95, a sharp upper 70s curve and a much better looking delivery. Eric Surkamp earned the save and completed the shutout in his season debut, though he did walk a pair. Offensively, Trayce Thompson went 2-2 and added a sacrifice fly, while Carlos Sanchez and Jared Mitchell added two-hit days (for Mitchell his first two of the season, raising his average to .167).
The Barons were routed by Mobile 11-3 in an overall sloppy effort. Mark Blackmar was making his first appearance in the White Sox system in the start, but there wasn’t much to celebrate: 8 hits and 5 earned runs in 3.1 innings. Onelki Garcia (4 R, 3 H, 2 BB in 1 IP) and Raul Fernandez (2 R, 2 H, BB in 2 IP) didn’t do much to help either, with only Miguel Chalas posting a scoreless line from the pen. The pitching efforts probably weren’t helped by the three errors and a run-scoring wild pitch, and Birmingham base runners were picked off and caught stealing once each. On the positive side, Courtney Hawkins had a day at the plate going 2-5 with his first AA home run (on a change-up, per Barons radio), and no strikeouts. Tim Anderson added a 3-5 day to raise his season average to .400 (in a very, very small sample size), and Jason Coats went 2-4 with a double.
All but one of the Dash lineup posted at least one hit as they skirted by Potomac for their second win of the young season. Jake Peter continues to look strong posting a 2-5 day with a triple, while Adam Engel and Omar Narvaez also had a pair of hits each. Matt Heidenreich made his first appearance back with the organization that drafted him and got the job done: 4 hits and 5 walks over 6 innings of 1-run ball, striking out two. Lefty Sean Hagan got the old fashioned 3-inning save to seal the win.
The Intimidators squandered a 3-1 lead to fall to 2-3. But you can add yet another entry to the solid debuts from starters list that’s been pretty long this season, thanks to Luis Martinez. The 20-year old made his Class A debut and threw four innings of one-run baseball and induced plenty of ground balls, but he did also walk four batters. Converted infielder Jacob Morris and 2014 draftee and pop-up pitching prospect David Trexler couldn’t hold the lead though, allowing Delmarva the come-from-behind win. At the plate, Ethan Gross had the only multi-hit day in the lineup going 2-4 with a double. Eddy Alvarez went 1-2 with a walk and a sac bunt, and outfielder Louie Lechich drew the golden sombrero (0-4, 4 K) but is still hitting .316 five games into the season.
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